Ukraine meets all criteria to start EU accession negotiations

The European Commission considers that Ukraine and Moldova have fulfilled all the preconditions for a possible opening of accession negotiations with the EU, diplomatic sources said on Friday on the sidelines of a meeting of representatives of the 27. A majority of EU countries want to formally open accession negotiations with these two countries before the end of June. But this decision requires unanimity and Hungary, Russia’s best ally in the EU, threatens to block the entire process, at least as far as Ukraine is concerned.

A long process

The European Commission had demanded measures from kyiv to combat corruption and the influence of oligarchs. It had also requested better consideration of minorities, a measure insistently demanded by Budapest, due to the presence of a Hungarian community in Ukraine.

The ambassadors of the 27 in Brussels, who met this Friday morning, will now examine the Commission’s opinion on the subject. They will then have to decide whether or not to recommend opening accession negotiations before the end of the month. EU heads of state and government are due to meet at a summit on 27 and 28 June in Brussels.

Hungary is under pressure from the other 26 member states to give the green light to this new step in Ukraine’s EU accession process. But whatever the 27 decide, the process will be long and arduous. A possible entry into the EU of Ukraine, a country of more than 40 million inhabitants and an agricultural power, poses many difficulties, starting with financing.

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